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Rebels’ Smoldt gets support, no hits North Tama

June 21, 2015
ADAM RING - Central Iowa Press , Reinbeck Courier

REINBECK - The Gladbrook-Reinbeck baseball team hasn't played in more than a week, thanks to games being postponed. With the way the Rebels played Tuesday night, they did a phenomenal job of hiding any rust they had from their extended time off. If they had any rust at all to show.

Joe Smoldt pitched a six-inning run-shortened no-hitter, being one walk away from a perfect game, and Phil Zimmerman knocked a three-run home run to right field to fuel the Rebels to a 10-0 win over North Tama in six innings.

"We came out and played very well," said Gladbrook-Reinbeck coach Jeff Charley. "It's been a little over a week since we've played with all the rainouts and stuff like that. The kids just did a great job."

Article Photos

Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Joe Smoldt delivers a pitch in the first inning against North Tama on Tuesday in Reinbeck. Smoldt pitched a six-inning no-hitter in the Rebels’ 10-0 win.
Photo by Adam Ring

Smoldt retired the first ten batters he faced, with a lot of help from his defense. Smoldt recorded just three strikeouts in the win, two of those coming in the sixth inning. Smoldt walked Caden Stuart with one out in the fourth inning, the only Redhawk to reach base in the game.

"I think I just felt it," Smoldt said. "I've been playing pretty good lately. My off-speed stuff was working pretty good."

Stuart didn't last long on the bases when Brody Hulme flew out to Zimmerman in center field. Stuart found himself in no man's land when Zimmerman fired a rocket throw to Brady Kuehl at first for the 8-3 double play.

"Smoldt came out and just threw a fantastic ballgame," Charley said. "We played very well defensively."

The Rebels (5-6) got on the board in the first inning. Cam Kickbush singled to left, advanced to second base on a passed ball, moved over to third on a Logan Flamme groundout, and scored when Josh Cooley took off for first on a dropped third strike allowing Kickbush to slide in safely to an uncovered home plate.

The Rebels and Redhawks (10-2) played scoreless baseball in the second, third and fourth innings. G-R opened the flood gates in the fifth inning, bringing 12 guys to the plate, knocking around Redhawk sophomore Cael Kopriva for eight runs. Kopriva gave up six hits and walked two in the inning. Zimmerman got the fireworks started in the inning, being the fourth guy to bat and hitting his three-run home run with one out. Cooley walked, and then the Rebels produced three straight infield singles from Smoldt, Bryce Ehlers and Jeff Tscherter, allowing Cooley to score and the bases to be loaded. Kuehl, who scored earlier in the inning on Zimmerman's home run, then knocked a bases-clearing double and later scored again on a wild pitch.

The infield single continued to work for the Rebels in the sixth inning, when Cooley and Smoldt each collected one. Both runners advanced a base on a passed ball, and Cooley came in on a wild pitch to score the tenth and final run to end the game early.

"I didn't want to end it that way," said North Tama coach Dan Kopriva. "(Smoldt) no-hit us. We hit five or six line-drive outs. It happens. Then they got four or five infield hits. They outplayed us tonight.

"We're a great pitching team. We just had to save arms. We have two important conference games coming up.

The Rebels were a walk away from playing perfectly in the hitting, pitching and defensive departments Tuesday night, and while Smoldt is ecstatic to have thrown a no-hitter, he's happier with the bigger picture of picking up a much needed win.

"We hit the ball pretty good," Smoldt said. "We kind of have been struggling at the plate, so it was good to hit the ball well like we did tonight.

"I didn't have a lot of strikeouts, so our defense was great."



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